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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cycling: Armstrong 8th in Tour of Murcia time trial


Associated Press

ALHAMA DE MURCIA, Spain Lance Armstrong's hopes of a Tour of Murcia victory were all but dashed when he finished eighth and more than a minute behind leader Frantisek Rabon in the time trial on Saturday.

Armstrong clocked 26 minutes, 28 seconds in the 13.7-mile time trial. He trails Team HTC-Columbia rider Rabon by 1:23 ahead of Sunday's flat 75.2-mile stage, where few serious breakaways are possible.

Armstrong did not speak to media for the second straight day, but Team RadioShack spokesman Philippe Maertens said the seven-time Tour champion was "not happy but not unhappy either."

Armstrong wrote on his Twitter page that it was a "tough one" while "Rabon smoked the (time trial) very very impressive."

The 38-year-old American is seventh overall. Denis Menchov of Russia was second in the time trial and trails Rabon by 38 seconds overall.

Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins, a Tour front-runner, was third with a time of 25:58 to sit 53 seconds behind the Czech leader. Armstrong's teammate Andreas Kloden is fourth overall, 57 seconds behind Rabon.